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When we start a website for our business we assume that it is magically going to attract everyone to flock in our direction and make millions. Yes, this can happen however there is a lot of additional work to get your ideal client to click on your website. In this blog post, we are going to look at the ways that your users/ visitors/ clients are finding your website and how to keep track of them with Google Analytics. 

What is Google Analytics and why do you need a website visitor tracker?

Google Analytics is a free website visitor tracker to monitor your website traffic. This allows you to reach your business goals by gaining an insight into where your visitors are coming from and how they find your website.

Google Analytics lets you

  • Understand who your customers are and follow their journey as they interact with your website
  • Analyse the number of views to your website daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
  • Interpret how your customers are finding your website, e.g. from search engines, links, email marketing, google ads, social media etc
  • View the percentage of customers that are engaged (Engaged Sessions) on your website vs leaving as soon as they land on your website
  • View your ROI (Return on Investment) and allow you to improve your ROI
  • Integrate and connect with other Google advertising and publisher tools for better insights
  • Plus many other features

If you do not have your website connected to Google Analytics then you are potentially missing out on understanding how your customers are interacting with you and your website. 

Let’s keep going and get your Google Analytics set up and check your results.

How to install Google Analytics

Firstly you will need to head on over to https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/ and sign in or create an account.

You will need a Gmail account to set this up. I suggest using your business Gmail account as you will use this with other Google business websites such as Google my Business or Google Search Console or Google Drive.

Please note if your website was designed by a designer or developer they may have installed Google Analytics as part of your website build. Check your handover training manual for this information.

If you have an account then sign in, however, if you do not have an account click on ‘Get Started’ and the below screen will show where you can then click on ‘Start Measuring’  and create an account name, and set up your business details.

Google analytics setup

If you need help setting this up we are here to help.

Once set up and you are signed in you will be taken to your website analytics dashboard.

It will look like either one of these.

standard universal version google analytics

This is the older standard universal version- expires on the 1st July 2023.

Google Analytics GA4
This is the next generation of Google Analytics GA4. You will need to upgrade before July 1, 2023, as the standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data after this date. Reach out if you need help to upgrade this.

Congratulations you have set up your Google Analytics.

Reports in Google Analytics

The reports that are available in Google Analytics seem endless. However, here is a quick overview of what type of reports you can expect.

  • Real Time Reporting – check what is happening on your website as it is happening
  • Acquisition Reports – allows you to learn how your users/ clients are reaching your site through different sources (Social Media, paid advertising, direct to site, through web search etc) and also their engagement on your website
  • Engagement Reports – these reports allow you to gain an insight into what content on your website drives your user’s engagement. This can be seen via event/campaigns that you are running, conversion of marketing channels and also web page engagement
  • Monetization Reports – see how much revenue you are generating on your website from eCommerce, in-app purchases and Ads.

For more information head on over to About Google Analytics.

How your users find you

There are a number of ways your users/ customers can find you and the acquisition reports will show you where your users are coming from.

Below is an overview of where your traffic is coming from.

Organic Search – your users found your website using a search engine. This group includes every search that was used to find your website.

Direct – this accounts for site visitors that arrived directly to your website without a referrer string. These visitors typed your URL into their browser and head straight to your website.

Organic Social – The social channel is any traffic that came to your website from a social media source such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tiktoc etc. This can help you fine tune your social media strategy.

Paid Search – This is traffic going directly to your website from paid advertising.

Paid Social– This is traffic coming from paid social ads including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

Display – Display ads are displayed on other websites across the internet that are trying to make money from Google AdSense. Any website can add AdSense ads to their website and then advertisers can use the Display Network to target those webpages.

Referrals – this is traffic that was sent to your site from a link on another website.

Email – This channel is set up to account for the traffic that clicks through to your site from links in your email.

Organic Shopping– This is traffic coming from Google shopping via a google merchant account.

Other/ Unassigned – When a visitor doesn’t fit any of the main channels, they wind up in the “Other” channel.

What information can be found in the reports

The following is generally what I check for myself and clients on Google Analytics. These allow a good understanding of where clients are coming from and help to create a marketing plan to increase traffic to your website.

Please note the below are for Google Analytics G4 version

  1. How many visitors are you getting?
    • Head to Reports, Life cycle, Acquisition then Traffic Acquisition. This allows you can see the total number of users for the date range you choose e.g per week, month etc. Write this number down and aim to grow this every month. From this you can dig down more to find out your user’s interactions per visit, Interaction rate is the percentage of people that interact (click, hover, tap) (known as user behaviour) with an element on your website to better understand your customers journey on your website. If your visitors aren’t converting on their first visit, it’s important to understand what actions they are taking on your site. You can also find their Average Session Duration to see how long your users are staying on your website.
  2. How do your customers find you?
    • Reports, Life cycle, Acquisition then Traffic Acquisition you can see Sessions, And if you then change it from session default channel grouping to session source you can see where your direct traffic is coming from. E.g. if you are paying for advertising space on another website and this advertising is working then their website will show here.
  3. Engaged Sessions
    • Let’s see how many users are checking your website for more than 10 seconds compared to ones that are not. Head to Reports, Life cycle, Acquisition then Traffic Acquisition you can see engaged sessions here. If you are getting say 2000 users for the month and 1700 engaged sessions then 300 of them are bouncing back to your search results so does this number worry you? If yes then you need to look at your website and see why.
  4. Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Are you paying for advertising in any way? You will want to have a look at the Organic Social, Paid Social channels and Direct. Are these stats increasing and bringing in money for what you are paying out? Also if you are paying for SEO or Social Media Management is your investment getting you a good result. If your figures are not increasing then maybe you need to look at how you can increase your return.
  5. Return Visitor Conversion
    • This is a custom report you can create⁠ to show the number of visitors that return to your website. To create head to explore and there is a list of reports you can create.
  6. Exit Pages
    • This is another custom report that can be created and it allows you to check the page that your client leaves your website. This will allow you to better understand⁠ where customers are leaving so that you can optimize your website to improve sales conversions.
  7. How often should you check your google analytics?

    I recommend checking your stats at least monthly is a good start. This allows you to keep track of where your website visitors are coming from and how they interact with your website.

    It will let you know if they are finding you via a Google search, from Social Media or even from paid ads.

    Write your stats down each month and aim to increase one or all areas over the coming months. By using Google Analytics you will see your business grow.

     

    Conclusion

    With Google Analytics you are now ready to start tracking how your website is performing. Jump on today and set up your Google Analytics and see how the reports can provide can help with your marketing plan and increase the number of users finding your website and converting them to paid clients.

    To recap Google Analytics can help with

    • Understand who your customers are and follow their journey as they interact with your website
    • Analyse the number of views to your website daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
    • Interpret how your customers are finding your website, e.g. from search engines, links, email marketing, google ads, social media etc
    • View the percentage of customers that are engaged (Engaged Sessions) on your website vs leaving as soon as they land on your website
    • View your ROI (Return on Investment) and allow you to improve your ROI
    • Integrate and connect with other Google advertising and publisher tools for better insights

    To learn more about Google Analytics, check out Google’s very own free courses at https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/

    Let us know if this simple website visitors tracker guide has been helpful.

    If you are not sure where to start we can help you set it up correctly head on over to here (https://thomaswebdesigns.com.au/website-quote/) and we can reach out to you.

About Me

I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.

I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.

I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.

If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.

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Google Analytics - A simple website visitors tracker guide